58 Indian companies in 2017 Forbes Global 2000 list

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The number of Indian companies to feature in the Forbes Global 2000’ list for 2017 has risen to 58 companies compared to 56 in 2016.  

This comprehensive ranking of the world’s biggest, most powerful and valuable publicly listed companies, released recently, is based on a mix of four metrics: sales, profits, assets and market value. Forbes gave an equal weighting of all four metrics and ranked companies according to size.

Conglomerate, Reliance Industries is the highest ranked company (106) in the list with a market capitalisation of US $71.2 billion. Reliance (ranked 121 in 2016) is currently witnessing a surge in investor confidence at the stock markets, after the launch of its telecom arm, Jio.

PSU State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender is ranked 244 this year. The bank has slipped from 149th position last year while state run oil explorer ONGC is at number 246 from 220 rank last year.

Four other Indian banks, all of them private lenders , HDFC Bank (258), ICICI Bank (310), Axis Bank (463) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (744), find themselves in the Forbes list, this coming despite battling high levels of stressed assets in a still weak lending environment.

Tata Motors, the automobile arm of the salt-to-software Tata Group, fell in terms of ranking to 290 from 278 in 2016.

At the global level, China’s banking giants monopolized slots at the top of the 2017 Global 2000 list. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China is ranked number one for the fifth consecutive year while China Construction Bank remains in the number two spot. The other two of China’s big four banks – Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China – dropped down on the list, but remained in the top ten.

Berkshire Hathaway, the largest company in the United States, edges up one spot to No. 3 on this year’s list. Notable gainers included General Electric which surged to No. 14 against No.68 in 2016. Ecommerce giant Amazon has also jumped to No. 83 this year compared to No. 237 in 2016.

“Forbes’ 2017 Global 2000 list faces much pressure amid unsteady geopolitical climates and slowing economies. Yet, in aggregate, these 2,000 companies have managed to come out stronger than last year, with increased sales, profits, assets and market values,” Halah Touryalai, deputy editor, Investing, Forbes Media, said in a statement.

“Despite slowing GDP figures, China and the United States, whose companies make up more than 40 percent of the list, continue to dominate the top 10 list with financial giants,” she said. “This list illustrates that in spite of headwinds, the world’s dominant companies remain a steady force in an unpredictable and challenging environment.”